Case details

Defense: Driver on wrong side of driveway caused collision





Result type

Not present

back, herniated disc, lower back
On May 18, 2009, at around 1:45 p.m., plaintiff Joanna Puentes, 22, an apartment complex manager, was operating her vehicle in the parking lot of the Sacramento complex that she managed and lived in when she was struck by a vehicle operated by Alicia Bogard, who was backing out of an angled parking space. Puentes claimed back . Puentes sued Bogard, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Specifically, Puentes contended that Bogard was at fault for backing out of the space unsafely. She claimed that she was about 10 feet from Bogard’s vehicle, traveling on the correct side of the driveway, when Bogard backed into her. Bogard claimed that she only backed out of the space about 3 to 4 feet when her vehicle collided with Puentes and that Puentes’ vehicle was on the wrong side of the driveway. In addition, defense counsel contended that there were visibility and obstruction issues in the parking lot., Puentes claimed lumbar disc herniations at the L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1 levels. A few hours after the collision, Puentes presented to a hospital with complaints of neck and back pain, but her X-rays were normal. She then received chiropractic treatment, saw a pain management doctor and received three MRIs over the next four years. Puentes claimed there was not anything she could do that would not cause her pain. Her treating neurosurgeon and treating orthopedic surgeon both agreed that Puentes would require additional treatment, including lower back surgery consisting of an artificial disc replacement and decompression. Defense counsel argued that based on the low-speed impact, Puentes’ treatment was unreasonable and unnecessary, and that Puentes would not require any lumbar surgery, at all, due to the accident.
Superior Court of Sacramento County, Sacramento, CA

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